Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Couple of Elected Retired Delegates to the IEA-R Are on Haisman’s Watch List by Fred Klonsky

“I usually don’t pay much attention to the recent ranting of the former IEA President, Bob Haisman. It was only a few years ago that he loved me. We were comrades-in-arms. If there were legislators who waffled on pension theft, Haisman was on their case. He swore that if they stole his pension they would not get his vote, and he urged all of us to follow his lead. And I did.

“Strangely, after following his call to arms, he turned on me. For doing exactly what he said we should do. He wrote scathing emails and comments to this blog claiming I was anti-union. Me? Can anyone read this blog and think that I am anti-union? He sent me so many tirades, that I finally cut him off.

“Last week the results of the state-wide election for IEA RA Retired delegates were announced and the former IEA President Bob Haisman came in first. As he always does. Congratulations, Bob. But a number of us who ran as a slate on a platform of what we considered reforms were also elected. One of our folks came in second to the former IEA President and two of us did pretty well. Clearly we represent the views of many loyal IEA/NEA Retired members.

“In announcing his win, the former IEA President promised to keep an eye on us at the Representative Assembly. “I will watch out for those attacks on our Union from inside our organization as well as outside!” he promised his followers on Facebook. I can only assume that the inside folks he will be watching are us.

“Here is the platform we ran on:

“We are running as candidates to represent the IEA Retired at the 2015 IEA Representative Assembly. We share the following beliefs. (This is not a criticism of others who are running as delegates. We strongly believe in a diversity of views).

1. We believe the IEA leadership needs to improve communication with its membership. 
2. We believe the IEA leadership should be more transparent in its decision-making process.
3. We believe retirees should have a stronger voice (more representation) in the decision-making process of  the Association.
4. We believe our Association should take a more significant and active role in defending our schools, our members, and our students from corporate school reform schemes such as charter schools, vouchers, Common Core, Race to the Top and teacher evaluations based on student test scores.
5. We believe in defending our contractual and constitutional pension benefits and rights without apologies, concessions or compromise - Jack Tucker, Mary Richie, Glen Brown, John Dillon and Fred Klonsky.

“Does this sound anti-union to you? Does it sound like an attack on our union?

“Bob has a hard time distinguishing between differences and disloyalty. I’m old enough to remember the McCarthy era when those critical of official government policy were considered disloyal and put on black-lists. And the sixties when civil rights activists and anti-war activists were put on the FBI’s watch lists. When Nixon had his enemies list. And people were watched.

“But here is my message to IEA Retired members, particularly those who voted for us as delegates: You watch. If we don’t follow through on what we stood for and for what we ran on, you can give us hell.”

from Fred Klonsky’s Blog


  1. I did not rejoin IEA this year because I feel IEA did not share the beliefs you stated above. I was an active member/officer all 34 years of my teaching career as well as a retired member the first four years of my retirement. I believe, however, that IRTA does a better job of representing retirees. Should you accomplish those goals, I will join again next year.

  2. Exactly the way I feel. That refers to Robin's comment and Fred's blog. IEA was not a union in my district. I've come upon the same conclusion by reading online. To me, it seems perfectly clear. I'm a lifer in the IRTA, both local and state.